Empowering Yemeni Women by Serving as a Role Model

UNDP Careers
3 min readSep 1, 2021

Meet Rehab Al-Sanabani, a Gender Analyst for UNDP in Yemen, who shares how she’s working to empower both herself and the women of her country.

Rehab Al-Sanabani, Gender Analyst, UNDP Yemen

I have been a Gender Analyst with UNDP Yemen for over two years where my focus has been to ensure gender is mainstreamed within UNDP programmes. I also partner with other organizations where I represent UNDP in women-led organizations, initiatives, fora or clubs. As someone who believes strongly in gender issues, I have found that UNDP is a very encouraging place for me to contribute.

What makes me proud to work at UNDP is that the organization empowers women and works toward gender equality. In 2020, the Country Office was awarded UNDP’s Silver Gender Seal; an honour that we are very proud to have achieved despite some implementation challenges.

UNDP in Yemen has conducted many gender initiatives and activities such as supporting women to establish solar micro-grid enterprises. These types of projects are key in helping Yemeni women as the country is one of the lowest ranked on the Gender Equality Index (179 out of 189). By helping women gain skills and empowering them to become gain financial security to support their families, we may begin to see improvement in Yemen’s gender ratings.

UNDP focuses on a people-centered approach and community engagement in all our projects — including those focused upon gender. We work closely with the Yemeni communities — women, men and youth — to ensure their ownership through every stage of the project.

Encouraged towards success

During my first month with UNDP, I was encouraged to participate and to make suggestions — and was advised that it was always welcome. Being empowered through work has helped me do more in my personal life and my professional life. In the last year, for example, I finished two Masters’ degree programmes and I started my PhD.

At work, the empowerment from Senior Management — and my ongoing contribution to many national and international initiatives — has helped achieve the Silver Gender Equality Seal. Some of my initiatives include establishing a committee on the prevention of racial discrimination and abuse, leading two committees on gender and sexual exploitation and abuse and being a UNDP People for 2030 Champion. Additionally, I finished two UNDP programmes (SPARK and PMP2) and have completed two gender-related Detailed Assignments with UNDP Jamaica (5 months) and the UNDP Regional Hub in Istanbul.

I am motivated to be a role model to prove that women are equal, that we make great achievements and attain senior positions — that every woman can say, “If she can do it, why can’t I?” The sky’s the limit.



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